My five-year old struggles with reading more than my older two had when they were his age. I started to worry about his reading level and even began comparing his progress with that of his siblings. Knowing that this was not the best approach, I reached out to his teacher for some help. She gave me some great ideas and resources to help him improve on his reading.
One of the things I really love about her tips is that some of them involve me working with my son one-on-one, while the other tips give my son a chance to work on his reading independently. They can also be used for my daughter who really enjoys reading and sometimes finds herself picking books a little too advanced for her age.
We implemented what my son’s teacher has taught us and since then I’ve seen much improvement. Before, when we would start our reading, we would both go into it somewhat dreading the slow and painful process. Today, it’s a much more enjoyable process and my son is doing so much better. Both of our stress levels have improved, and now we can focus on the story in the book rather than just getting each word right.
Without further ado, strategies for improving reading comprehension and word recognition:
- Choose one book a week for focus with your child. On the first day, start by reading the story to your child and allow your child to point to the words as you read them. This gives your child some idea of what the story is about and allows your child to begin recognizing the words before being asked to read them.
- The next day, have your child take turns reading pages or paragraphs with you. This will increase reading comprehension and reinforce word recognition before your child is asked to read the whole book.
- Next, record yourself reading the story on your phone or other recording device. Ask your child to read along to your voice. This gives your child a sense of independence from you and helps with reading fluency.
- Follow that day by having your child read the whole story to you. Help only as needed. At the end of the story, go through the book and point to the words your child struggled with to reinforce them. You can also have your child draw a picture showing what happened at the start, middle, and end of the story. Ask your child to explain what parts of the story he drew.
- On the last day, your child should be able to read the story with ease and comfort. Your child will gain confidence in reading as he easily reads through the story. You can ask your child to share what could/would happen next if he wrote another part to the story. You could even have your child write or draw a short “book report” about the story showing his favorite part.
Do you have a child that struggles with reading? If so, what tips do you have that have worked?